Academic journal article Public Relations Journal

38% of Canadian Journalists Use Internet, Survey Shows

Academic journal article Public Relations Journal

38% of Canadian Journalists Use Internet, Survey Shows

Article excerpt

Thirty-eight percent of Canadian newsrooms and freelance journalist are now hooked up to the Internet, a recent survey shows. Among news organizations, 48% of broadcasters, 44% of daily newspapers, and 35% of trade magazines are connected to the Net. Of those not yet connected, 56% per cent expect to be within the next 12 months.

The survey of nearly 200 journalists was jointly conducted by the Toronto offices of Ernst & Young and Canada NewsWire, Ltd. (See box, next page.) The research was designed to determine which journalists are using the Internet, where the Net is taking them, and when they will be entering the on-ramp.

The survey shows that reporters are not shying away from cyberspace. In fact, among respondents who use the Internet or on-line services, 81% use it at least once per week.

"It is interesting to see how reporters are using the Net and how this compares with the general public and the business community," noted Kris Sharma, senior consultant at Ernst & Young. "Research is the primary use of the Internet, according to 39% of respondents," he reported. "Almost one quarter (24%) said that interactivity was a primary reason they used the Net."

While the general public may be more interested in the entertainment value of the Internet, and businesses lured by the potential marketing opportunities, journalists look at the Internet as a way of increasing their productivity, Sharma added. Sixty-four percent said Internet usage would make them more productive, the survey found. Only 7% of respondents felt that the Internet would make a reporter's work less productive. The two most common reasons they cited were "information overload" and "wastes too much time."

Other key survey findings include:

* Seventy percent of news organizations with an audience of more than 200,000 are on line (with either full Internet services, on-line services such as CompuServe, or on-line research via databases). …

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